Lessons in the "Technology" Category

Driverless Cars

Today, let’s talk about driverless cars. Would you go in one? Moreover, would you feel safe in one? The subject is hopefully a good talking point!

Google recently introduced us to their driverless car. To begin with they are building 100 of them. Their project has been several years in the making. It is a step forward in car technology.

Windows 10

Microsoft has released details of its new operating system Windows 10 that will debut later on this year. It will replace Windows 8.1. The good thing is - it will be FREE!

Windows 10 will also be a free upgrade for the first year for users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. By offering Windows 10 free for the first year is a huge incentive to kickstart its adoption.

Great Victorian Inventions

Today, let’s talk about Victorian inventions. Do you know of any? There were many. Here’s a few of them…

In 1840 the Victorians introduced the first prepaid postal service that used a postal stamp. Letters could be sent anywhere in the UK for one penny using a stamp called the Penny Black. In 1859 a green national standard post box was introduced. Later British post boxes became red.

Category: Inventions / Victorian Inventions / Technology

Google Glass

Today, let’s talk about Google Glass. This is a wearable computer that has an optical headmounted display on a pair of glasses that allows users to video what they see. They can also wake up Glass and say “ok Glass, take a picture” for a hands free way to take a snapshot. Users of Google Glass can also communicate with the internet via natural language voice commands.

Google started selling Google Glass in April 2014 for a limited period for US$1,500. The device became available to the general public in May 2014 for the same price. Currently Google provides four choices of frame for US$225.

Category: Technology / Google Glass / Camera

'Smart' meter to cost every UK household £200

Today, let’s talk about ‘smart’ meters. These electronic meters will measure your electric and gas usage. They are meant to replace your existing meters. The catch in the UK is – it will cost YOU £200 to install one, even though legally you don’t need to.

Next year UK energy companies will begin the mass installation of these ‘smart’ meters. The expense of which will be passed on over time to customers. The idea is to save customers money. Seeing as they will cost £214.80 to install, any saving will take at least eight years before anyone begins to benefit!

The £11 billion project is supposed to cut down energy consumption and reduce bills! Really? So far, five EU countries considering similar such plans have decided it would cost more money than it saves.

Category: Energy / Smart Meters / Business

Social networking users migrate to smaller platforms

Today let’s talk about social networking users, some of whom are now migrating to smaller platform apps like Snapchat, Vine and WhatsApp, a messaging tool Facebook recently bought for US$19m. All have seen huge growth, primarily because they are used on mobile devices.

These newer services encourage users to target personalised messages to individuals or small groups instead of broadcasting posts to large networks of people.

Category: Social Networking / Apps / Social Tools

A brief history of electric cars

Thomas Parker is said to have invented the first electric car. It went onto the streets of London in 1884. Parker was responsible for innovations such as electrifying the London Underground.

A decade later Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of electric London taxis. These started operating on London’s streets in 1897. They were soon nicknamed ‘the hummingbirds’ because of the humming noise they made.

Category: Technology / Electric cars / History

The end of Windows XP

Most of us use a computer. Its operating system will probably be a Windows based system, a Mac or Linux system.

Those of you who use a Windows based system will know the good versions and the bad ones! In the old days we used Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and in 2001 onwards there was the highly popular Windows XP that is still used by many today. Later we saw Windows Vista, which was rapidly replaced by Windows 7. Now there is Windows 8. Many people prefer Windows 7 to Windows 8, as it is easier to use.

Category: Technology / Operating Systems / Windows XP

Would you buy an electric or hybrid car?

Would you buy an electric or hybrid car? Well, would you? Every month car manufacturers are introducing new models; some of which are hybrid cars; others are 100% plug in electric cars.

A hybrid engine combines an electric motor with a petrol engine. This saves you fuel while still getting ample power. If the petrol engine isn’t running they are also quiet. You thus save money by not having to buy so much petrol. When the engine is running they charge themselves.

Category: Technology / Electric Cars / Hybrid Cars

Edward Snowden on German TV

Recently the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden was interviewed by German TV channel ARD. In it he said the NSA is involved in industrial espionage. He added that the NSA takes intelligence regardless of its value to national security.

Snowden cited German engineering firm Siemens as one target. Snowden also revealed he no longer had possession of any documents or information on NSA activities. He has though turned everything over to select journalists.

Category: Technology / Edward Snowden / NSA